Honey has a plethora of health benefits which science is just starting to uncover. Currently, new benefits of honey studies reveal that raw wildflower honey has unique immune boosting properties.
Prior research regarding raw honey has proven that honey's capability of stimulating the immune system had a lot to do with the truth that flower nectars have plant polyphenols and additional phytochemicals.
Well, we now can add one other reason for honey's capability of stimulating the immune system: A probiotic bacteria endemic among bees.
The knowledge of this probiotic uncovers a variety of key elements concerning honeybees and honey – in regard to fructose digestion and honeybee colony collapse.
"Prior research regarding raw honey has proven that honey's capability of stimulating the immune system had a lot to do with the truth that flower nectars have plant polyphenols and additional phytochemicals."
Implications of raw vs. refined honey
The heat-killing is what usually occurs in most traditional honey production because traditional honey typically is heated then filtered. This process of heating is going to permit the honey to be more easily run through a filter in order for the particulates to be screened out.
But a real raw honey isn’t filtered, nor heated. You easily can tell a raw honey from heated-filtered honey because heated-filtered honey is going to be clear and raw honey is going to have a darker, creamy color – and you cannot see through it.
Also, it means raw honey is going to have the living forms of this immune-increasing probiotic bacteria.
This probiotic’s existence now can explain why raw honey has been discovered to be not just immune-stimulating yet also antibiotic. And why is this? Because probiotics secrete a number of natural compounds to kill those bacteria off which threaten their territories.
Absolutely, honey additionally has phytochemicals from the nectar of the plant that stimulates the immune system. We can’t deny that, as additional honey studies have proven that honey from immunity-stimulating plants contains more antimicrobial properties than honey from bees which harvest from regular plants.
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Probiotics derived from flowers
Honey gets stored as energy for bees for the winter season as there theoretically aren’t any more flowers to feed from. It seems that flowers offer more than simply the nectar and pollen - they additionally offer the bacteria important to the protection and storage of the honey.
Honey bees produce honey by blending the nectar of the flower with saliva, as well as collectively regurgitating it by trading the nectar back and forth between healthy bees. The procedure infuses the pollen’s sweetness with the probiotic bacteria from the digestive juices of the bee – therefore protecting it. However, the protection does not merely derive from digestive juices; it also derives from the probiotic bacteria the bees host. Where will they get the bacteria from?
Research by scientists from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa have assessed various L. kunkeei strains, gathered from flowers, honey and in the production of wine. The critical part of the flower collection is that these flowers were fresh. The Lactobacillus kunkeei bacteria have a symbiotic relationship not just with bees and thereby humans – yet additionally with those flowers. So, the flower nectars are offering the bees bacteria.
Probiotic bacteria offer various benefits to the host. They include offering direct antibiotic immune functionality, stimulating and helping our immune system, and offering enzymes for digestion in conjunction with other chemicals utilized by the metabolism of the host.
The continuous investigation on bee bacteria discovers that the Lactobacillus kunkeei bacteria first provides probiotic activity to flowers that contain nectar. That means bees aren’t simply harvesting the pollen and nectar from flowers: They’re also harvesting those beneficial bacteria that offer probiotic services to a beehive.
Passing on probiotics from honey to human beings
One gathered by the honeybee from flowers, probiotic services offered by the Lactobacillus kunkeei bacteria then are passed onto those human beings who carefully and smartly harvest the honey that is stored inside the hive, as well as to the ones who consume those honeys raw.
Of course, this confers those probiotic benefits to human beings.
Just like additional probiotic bacteria do, those bacteria generate acetic acid and lactic acid – both of which help in the proper pH of our intestinal tracts. Also, those acids establish an environment that aids in preventing the growth of many kinds of yeasts and pathogenic bacteria.
Blood sugar and raw honey
In addition, probiotics aid us in digesting and processing our foods – and Lactobacillus kunkeei also can conduct this function.
The University of Stellenbosch researchers also discovered the Lactobacillus kunkeei bacteria feed off of complex D-fructose – that both honeys and flower nectars provide.
This truth reveals a more complicated mechanism and benefit of consuming raw honey – and at least a good reason why honey is among the healthiest types of sweeteners as far as controlling blood sugar is concerned. The truth that the bacteria feed from fructose means that they additionally break the fructose down that may cause – in its pure forms – a hike in our blood sugar.
In other studies, it has been shown that fructose that comes from raw fruit comes with complex fibers which assist in preventing the fructose from surging into your blood. The process is slowed down further by gut probiotics feeding from fructose, thereby breaking these polysaccharide chains down into healthy elements like acetic acids and lactic acids.
However, honey offers an additional level above this – assuming raw honey is consumed: It generates the probiotics which decrease the absorption of fructose of not just the honey, yet other foods that contain fructose.
Also, it offers the missing link underscoring the truth that probiotic supplementation has been proven to improve the fructose/glucose response.
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Disclaimer: the medical, health, and skin care benefits mentioned in the blog are intended for educational purposes. Any statements made by Santa Monica honey highlighting the potential uses of its products are not guaranteed.